The Department of Health today published the “Census of Drug and Alcohol Treatment Services in Northern Ireland – 30 April 2019” bulletin.
The Census summarises information collected from statutory and non-statutory drug and alcohol treatment services to establish the number of persons in treatment in Northern Ireland for drug and/or alcohol misuse.
The bulletin presents information on the number of persons in treatment on 30 April 2019.
- In Northern Ireland on 30 April 2019, a total of 6,743 persons were reported to be in treatment for misuse of alcohol and/or drugs.
- This is an increase from 5,969 clients in the 2017 census. Previous to 2019, the number in treatment had remained relatively stable, with the exception of 2014 (8,553 persons). It should be noted that additional lottery-funded alcohol projects were running during 2014 which would have contributed to the increased number of clients in that year.
- Of those in treatment, just under two-fifths (38%) were in treatment for alcohol only, a third (33%) were in treatment for drugs only, and less than a third (29%) were in treatment for both drugs and alcohol.
- Over the last decade, there has been a change in the type of treatment being sought; there has been a relative fall in the proportion of those receiving treatment for alcohol only from under three-fifths (57%) in 2010 to just under two-fifths (38%) in 2019 whereas the proportion of clients in treatment for drugs only has increased from 22% to 33%, and for both drugs and alcohol has increased from 21% to 29%.
- The proportion of male clients in treatment has remained relatively stable at around two-thirds (66% in 2019). The majority of clients were aged 18 and over (91%).
- Almost three-fifths of clients (59%) received treatment through statutory organisations, with 38% receiving treatment through non-statutory organisations, and 3% receiving treatment in prison.
- The majority of clients (95%) were being treated in a non-residential setting.
Notes to editors:
- This is the seventh Census of drug and alcohol treatment services in Northern Ireland. Previous Censuses were conducted on 1 March in 2005, 2007, 2010, 2012, 1 September 2014, and on 1 March 2017.
- Statutory and non-statutory treatment services are invited to contribute to the data collection exercise. As with previous censuses, the number of persons in treatment is defined as ‘live cases’ where individuals are being treated on a one-to-one basis.
- It should be noted that a census represents a ‘snap-shot’ at a particular point in time. The figures cannot be used to derive the numbers in treatment over the course of a year.
- As individuals can be in contact with more than one service, there may be an element of double-counting in the figures presented.
- This publication is available online.
Additional information is available from:
Public Health Information and Research Branch
Information Analysis Directorate
Department of Health
Annexe 2, Castle Buildings
Belfast BT4 3SQ
Telephone: 028 9052 2607
- For media queries please contact the Department of Health Press Office on 028 9052 0575 or email: email@example.com. For out of hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.
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